Physical Science

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” -Nathaniel Hawthorne It’s hard to believe that we’ve almost reached the end of Messier Monday, but with a finite number (110) objects in the catalogue, we were bound to come to…

Mimicking geckos

Researchers at DARPA are using geckos to create biologically inspired methods of scaling vertical walls. Check out this video demonstration of “Geckskin”:

“I went down the street to the 24-hour grocery. When I got there, the guy was locking the front door. I said, ‘Hey, the sign says you’re open 24 hours.’ He said, ‘Yes, but not in a row.’” -Stephen Wright It seems like there’s a sign for everything, from warnings to advisories to just plain…

“When a star goes supernova, the explosion emits enough light to overshadow an entire solar system, even a galaxy. Such explosions can set off the creation of new stars. In its own way, it was not unlike being born.” -Todd Nelson Did you follow all the action this past week over at the main Starts With A…

It’s the Little Things…

Small observations of things that have struck me as weird during our UK stay to this point: – There is no alarm clock in our hotel room. – There are no drinking fountains in public spaces. – The travel-on-the-left thing would be easier if it were consistently applied. About one stairway in three asks people…

“Es ist immer angenehm, über strenge Lösungen einfacher Form zu verfügen.” (It is always pleasant to have exact solutions in simple form at your disposal.) -Karl Schwarzschild The Universe is a vast and complex place, full of a diversity of structure from the smallest scales to the largest. And yet, by many accounts, it’s a…

“When I had satisfied myself that no star of that kind had ever shone before, I was led into such perplexity by the unbelievability of the thing that I began to doubt the faith of my own eyes.” -Tycho Brahe The Milky Way is home to many of the greatest sights ever to grace the…

A new paper advances our understanding of the link between anthropogenic global warming and the apparent uptick in severe weather events we’ve been experiencing. Let’s have a look at the phenomenon and the new research. Climate Change: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. It is mostly bad. Sometimes it is ugly. I was looking…

Eureka! It’s a Talk!

Kate and I had a very nice time doing touristy things in Bath yesterday during the day– old church, very old hot spring, Georgian architecture– then went on to Bristol where I gave a talk on the forthcoming book, as you can see in the picture above. I would ordinarily include a SlideShare link to…

“To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think. The only thing I am for sure is unsure, and this means I’m growing, and not stagnant or shrinking.” ‐Jarod Kintz But for the Universe, although it’s constantly changing, growing in a gravitational sense…